March 28, 2008

Wakefield and Colleagues Should Be Knighted, Not Persecuted

This press released issued by pretty much everyone in the biomedical community.

I say here, here.

U.K. Medical Inquiry Threatens Scientific Inquiry & Progress in Autism

The National Autism Association (NAA), SafeMinds, Unlocking Autism, Generation Rescue, Autism One and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) wish to express support for Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues who are unjustly facing a fitness to practice hearing by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom. Dr. Wakefield, a pioneer in autism research and treatment, begins his historic testimony today. The undersigned organizations, along with other U.S. families affected by autism, join in spirit with the U.K. families who are demonstrating today at the GMC offices in London.

The GMC prosecution is a frontal attack on the health and well-being of those around the world who have an autism spectrum disorder. Scientific and medical progress in this field will only be made through open minded thinking on how best to treat and prevent the disabling conditions that accompany this complex diagnosis. The GMC's actions have a chilling effect on the practice of medicine and suppress honest and open scientific inquiry.

Dr. Wakefield and his team of elite researchers at the Royal Free Hospital in London did exactly as they were called to do by their professional curiosity and ethics - find out why so many children have autism and whether gastrointestinal problems play a role in the disorder. Their seminal 1998 paper published in The Lancet reported a series of observations whose common features had coalesced as a new syndrome, autistic enterocolitis. The parents of many patients noted a link between the onset of symptoms and receipt of the measles-mumps-rubella combination vaccine (MMR), but out of an abundance of caution the Lancet paper claimed that the study did not prove an association between MMR and autism. Rather, it prudently called for further research.

The underlying goal of the GMC hearing is to take Dr. Wakefield and colleagues to task for daring to even hint at a vaccine-autism link. The "official" reason is to determine if the scientists profited from their research, but in fact the inquiry is a desperate tactic by vaccination proponents to quiet those who raise questions about the safety of current vaccination practices such as combining three live viruses into the single MMR injection. Recent developments in the U.S. have vindicated Dr. Wakefield's hypotheses. Gastrointestinal problems are now known to be present in many autistic children and gastroenterology has become a standard discipline for autism medical care. The U.S. court for vaccine injury compensation has found that vaccination against multiple diseases on one day led to a case of regression into autism in a child who was developing normally.

Dr. Wakefield should be knighted for his cutting-edge creativity, not persecuted. He made his hypotheses a decade ago, and the rest of science is just now catching up. The public health bureaucrats and their agents - in the U.K. and the U.S. - are more interested in covering up their own misdeeds, poor judgment, or inaction. These include a refusal to make the single monovalent measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines broadly available in response to legitimate concerns over the safety of the triple MMR injection, a refusal to conduct a valid study comparing the rate of autism and other health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, and a refusal to reexamine infant immunization schedules to increase safety. Autism spectrum disorder rates in the U.K. may be as high as 1 in 66 and in the U.S. they are said to be 1 in 150 children, but the public health establishment refuses to declare autism a health emergency, refuses to apply the resources to understanding the disorder, and refuses to conduct the type of unbiased research required.

The U.K. medical establishment has driven Dr. Wakefield from his home, but his loss is America's gain. We are blessed to have Dr. Wakefield as Director of the Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas. In a few short years, this has become an international mecca for research, education, and treatment for children with autism. We look forward to a fair GMC hearing and to further ground-breaking research from Dr. Wakefield and his team.

For more information about autism and the undersigned organizations, visit Details about today's rally in London are available at

National Autism Association
Unlocking Autism
Generation Rescue
Autism One
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)


Apple_Mark said...

Hi Ginger
We had a great day !! Andy looked really please with the reception.
Hopefully I will have a youtube clip of some of the best bits soon.

Ginger said...

Post a link when it is up!

And blow a kiss to Andy for me!